It’s late afternoon on Kington rec, the pretty riverside cricket ground of the Herefordshire market town close to the Welsh border. I’m strutting around under the watchful gaze of guide Ali Allen, as she shouts instructions. “Roll from heel to toe, loosen the shoulders, swing those arms, plant the poles … good!”
I may feel like I’m in a Monty Python ministry of silly walks sketch, but my introductory Nordic walking session is, apparently, going well, and after a couple of hours I’m starting to master the basics.
“Nordic walking is much more than just walking with poles,” says Ali, “It’s a workout for the whole body. Done correctly it uses 90% of your muscles, builds core strength, improves cardio performance, burns nearly the same calories as running, helps arthritic joints and posture – there are so many benefits.”
Holy poley! Writer Jane Dunford on her Nordic walking trip
Started in the 1930s by the Finnish cross-country skiing team as a way to keep fit in summer, its popularity as a recreational sport has grown in Europe since the 1980sMore than 10 million people practise it globally and since its arrival in the UK in the early 2000s interest has grown…